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Snowshoe Thompson by Nancy Smiler Levinson

Snowshoe Thompson (1992)

by Nancy Smiler Levinson

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This is an interesting piece of historical fiction about a relatively obscure historical figure in postal history that also describes the beginning use of skis in America. Joe Thompson was from Norway and when it was impossible to cross the Sierra Mountains to deliver the mail one winter he decided to make himself a pair of skis to the delight of his fellow settlers. These strange snowshoes, thus earning Joe the nomenclature "Snowshoe Thompson" amazed the other folks and the idea caught on. A fairly simple story but one that shows how items from the "old country" came to be used in the Americas by settlers and an heroic tale as Joe comes through and saves the day. The illustrations are by the renowned Joan Sandin who has been illustrating since the seventies and has contributed to several books in the "I Can Read Books" series. She does wonderful period piece work and these add greatly to the story. ( )
  ElizaJane | Dec 5, 2013 |
  BRCSBooks | Sep 11, 2011 |
The old expression about postal carriers "Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" just might refer to the real historical figure, John Thompson. In "Snowshoe Thompson", author Nancy Smiler Levinson tells the story of Danny, a Placerville boy who is devastated because his letter to his father in Nevada will not make it before spring. The impassable snows of the Sierra Nevada have closed the route. Norwegian immigrant, Snowshoe Thompson comes to the rescue with his skis (previously unknown in the area). In the author's note, Levinson writes that the real John Thompson would sometimes brave storms, wild animals, and lack of shelter to deliver bags of mail that would sometimes weigh as much as 100 pounds. Joan Sandin's charming illustrations will probably be examined closely as students read this text about an early pioneer in California. ( )
  odonnell | Jul 18, 2010 |
Genre: realistic fiction
Critique of Genre: This is a cute example of realistic fiction because a little boy desperately wants to get a letter to his father in Nevada, but the snow is stopping the mail delivery until spring. Thankfully Mr. Thompson comes to the rescue by making his own skis with the help of the boy and delivers the mail himself.
Setting: The setting is pretty important for this story of a kind hearted man who wants to help a boy deliver a letter to his father. This wouldn't really be as big of a gesture, but in this particular story there is too much snow for the mail to be delivered. However, Mr. Thompson decidedes to help the little boy out by making skis and taking the long journey over the snowy mountain pass to hand deliver the letter.
Media: watercolor ( )
  jessy555 | Nov 25, 2008 |
This a nice historical fiction book/primer for youngsters.

http://www.booksforkids-reviews.com/2008/05/snowshoe-thompson-by-nancy-smiler.ht... ( )
  PamFamilyLibrary | Aug 9, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064442063, Paperback)

Danny wishes his dad would come home from Nevada for Christmas and writes him a letter to tell him so. When snow cuts off the mail until spring, only postman John Thompson can get through the Sierra Nevada Mountains to deliver his letter. "Based on a true story, this is lively historical fiction with a nice sense of character and adventure, [and] the illustrations are packed with feeling and action." —BL.

Notable 1992 Children's Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:18 -0400)

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One winter John Thompson skis across the Sierra Nevada Mountains and creates a path upon which mail and people may travel, thus earning his nickname "Snowshoe Thompson."

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